March 6, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: After the union government sent out a note on 2nd March, advising senior politicians and bureaucrats to stay away from events planned to mark 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government-in-exile has decided to cancel its two main events in New Delhi.
In its note, the government had underlined that it is a “very sensitive time” for India’s relations with China.
It is reported by the media sources that two events, which were to be attended by the Dalai Lama, were scheduled to take place in New Delhi — an inter-faith prayer at the Gandhi Samadhi in Rajghat on March 31 and a ‘Thank You India’ event at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on April 1.
Following the above mentioned report — on Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s note to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha who sent a directive to the Centre and states — the Tibetan government-in-exile decided to hold the ‘Thank You India’ event in Dharamsala, either on March 31 or April 1.
While interacting with the media Sonam Dagpo, spokesperson for the Central Tibetan Administration, told the media persons present that “The Thyagaraj stadium event has been shifted to Dharamsala now. And the inter-faith prayer at Rajghat has been cancelled for now.”
Reacting upon the advisory note issued by the government Sonam Dagpo purportedly said, “India is host to Tibetan refugees. We respect the Indian government’s decision. We have no further comments.” He said there had been no communication from the Indian government to the Tibetan administration on this issue.
“There were plans for speeches by the Dalai Lama and some of our Indian friends, from government, politics, academia and others, at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex. There was also a plan to gift a souvenir, a Dharmachakra, from the Tibetan administration to a representative of the Indian government, as an expression of our gratitude to the Indian government for hosting us for 60 years. But that plan is now being re-worked,” reads the quote from the statement issued by Tibetan administration official published in an English vernacular.
Further, it is reported that the Tibetan administration was planning to invite former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Indian Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Union Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju among others for the events at the Thyagaraj stadium and Rajghat.
While this was perceived as an unusual departure from Delhi’s stand on the Tibetans-in-exile, Gokhale’s trip to Beijing on February 23, where he met Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, and called on Foreign Minister Wang and State Councillor Yang Jiechi, was an attempt to mend fences with China — after a year of strained relations.
Gokhale’s note is a reflection of India’s cautious approach towards Beijing as it embarks on the task of mending fences with its northern neighbour. Many believe that the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh from April 4 to 12 last year had provoked Beijing to take diplomatic and military moves that impacted the relationship adversely through much of 2017, notes Indian Express (IE) in its report.
(1) Save Our WhatsApp Number 0091-855-606-7689 to your phone contacts; and
(2) Send us Your Name via WhatsApp. Click Here to Send WhatsApp Message Now.
Related Topics: China, Dalai Lama, India China Relationship